WTF?! I’ll say it again. WTF?! And what’s more…NO.
Of course I’m slightly overstating his remarks for dramatic purposes. But the sentiment was there. I told him that I’d throw down on the first point; he’s wrong. Unequivocally. And that on the second point, he needs to be reading more, and widely. (Hee.) There’s amazing creative nonfiction out there, and to express an opinion like that suggests that he’s not reading the right stuff (or any stuff at all?).
Look. There’s a direct correlation between a writer’s book consumption and skill level, period. And with regards to nonfiction…this is how we challenge ourselves to think critically and to enrich our understanding of issues that affect humanity.
I’m reminded of George Lucas, who on an episode of Fresh Air, talked about how people are smarter now than ever before. Lucas has apparently not read Montaigne or Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. People are not smarter today. If anything, we’re less smart. Science has advanced immeasurably, but humanity’s interrogative process has declined. Why shouldn’t it? We can get the answer to virtually any question in the time it takes to type the topic into a search engine. Smart does not equal access to knowledge. Smart is a process.
I recapped my conversation with the student for a colleague and he dismissed it instantly. “Sounds young. And immature.”
There’s a cure for that.